Credit: Associated Press
San Diego County officials say that residents need to defend themselves from West Nile virus after the mosquito-borne disease was declared last week in a dead hawk found in the East County.
“The first result of the season and an indicator is that things are about to start,” said Chris Conlan, supervising a vector ecologist for the county's Vector Control Program.
Conlan said that cool winter temperatures kept the insect-blooded insects, but as the weather progresses, mosquito population growth will increase, he said. This is because the incubation period for the two dozen species of mosquito that live in the county shortens during higher temperatures.
“The hotter, the quicker they can finish a generation,” said Conlan. “So maybe these mosquitoes will take a few weeks to build a generation to finish perhaps as little as seven to 10 days.” T
Conlan said that San Diego's abundance of rainfall is a constructive factor of mosquito activity. More stable water throughout the region means that there are more breeding areas for small insects, which are flying and drawn to the stall pools to lay their eggs, he said.
“But similarly, some areas are now fresh water that may be still water and they will not breed mosquitoes,” said Conlan.
He said it is too early to determine the severity of the Nile West virus season ahead, which usually lasts in November.
"Until I see more details, I will not be able to make accurate predictions yet," he said.
The West Nile virus is usually transmitted from bird to bird through mosquito bite, ”explained Conlan.
“But sometimes these mosquitoes sometimes bird, climb the infection and then at some point later down the line, bite another animal or other animal,” Conlan said.
Last year, 215 people were diagnosed throughout the state and 10 people died. In 2017, mosquitoes were infected more than 500 people and killed almost four dozen.
Most people infected with the West Nile virus do not show signs. For the 20 per cent who have symptoms, headaches, fever and in extreme cases, paralysis or death.
While the main concern for mosquitoes disease in San Diego County is the Nile West virus, mosquitoes in the region can carry other serious illnesses, Conlan warned.
Aedes Aegypti and Aedes can mosquitoes Albopictus, which was first found in San Diego in 2014, transporting diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya. Over the past five years, the population of both invasive species has increased and expanded its scope. Unfortunately, Conlan said, there is currently no active virus in the region.
However, with the advent of spring, people are asked to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including good treatment and the elimination of stable water in their own homes.
"Make sure you don't breed mosquitoes in your own backyard," Conlan said. “Firstly, we recommend the removal of stable water. Also, you can do things as good screens to put your house and your doors to keep mosquitoes from entering the house. ”
It is asking people to report dead birds and green water pools through firstname.lastname@example.org, calling (858) 694-2888 or downloading the county's “Fight the Bite” app.
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San Diego County's cool winter temperatures kept mosquitoes at bay, but as the weather gets warmer, the growth of mosquito, said Chris Conlan, overseeing the vector ecologist for the county's Vector Control Program.
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